July fourth, 2012

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   Fourth of July, 2012                                   

                                        

What is this day without fireworks?

I would be insulting the land I have grown to love.

So, I joined my grandson to

sit by a field and watch the fireworks.

Got to the park early and claimed seats in the grass,

and as we impatiently waited for it to get dark,

we played a game ,throwing a nurf ball

 

A huge golden moon stood sentinel at the east

horizon.   It added mystique.

When, finally the show began,

blasts of red white blue and green

filled the skies in front of us,

giant sparklers rose one after the other

in rapid-fire sequence.

 

Now the show was all white, turning to gold dust.

It was a tossup; hard to decide

which one was more beautiful?

All colors or just white and gold?

Tough decision, but lucky for our eyes,

All colors were repeated, and white explosions

that melted into a golden lamé draping the skies

 

 

 

 

Closed my eyes and remembered.

Indian Independence came in August 1947.

Within two years the Indian Republic formed

first Republic day Parade in January 1950,

at the Pangode military base in my town,

Lord Mountbatten came to say goodbye

before he left for England for good.

 

Prancing white horses leading,

the tricolor orange, white and green flag flying high,

and the new national anthem sung loud with pride.

My dad had already taught us the words

from poet Tagore’s rendering.

Then came the fireworks, dazzling and deafening

I held tight on to my dad’s hand.

Free.  We were free at last

to define our own destiny.

And mine was to come far far away,

across the seven seas to this land of the free.

Initial heartaches disappeared when I

learned to love, respect and care for my adopted country.

And, here I stand proudly,

hand over heart

in honor of the great red, white, and blue

 

Shakuntala

 

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